Three matches await rugby fans this Saturday. From 3 p.m. at Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux, Samoa begins their tournament against Chile, beaten by Japan (42-12) last Sunday. In a tough Group D alongside Argentina and England, the Samoans must dominate the Chilean “Condores” to maintain a (slim) hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Later in the afternoon, Wales challenge Portugal at the Allianz Riviera in Nice for a seemingly unbalanced display. The Leek XV, winner of Fiji on the first day, covets the offensive bonus while Portuguese “Os Lobos” (the Wolves) want to show a good face during their first outing. Finally, in the evening, Ireland and Tonga face each other in Nantes at the Beaujoire stadium. The Ikale Tahi (Sea Eagles) also begin their World Cup against the XV du Trèfle, full of confidence after their defeat against Romania (82-8) last weekend.
Also read: 2023 World Cup: classification by group
Samoa-Chile (group D): 3:00 p.m. (M6)
Wales-Portugal (group C): 5:45 p.m. (M6)
Ireland v Tonga (group B) : 9.00pm (TF1)
Also read: 2023 World Cup: schedule and match results
This Friday, the day after its victory against Uruguay (27-12), the XV of France participated in two community activities. The players met sick children at the Robert Debré hospital in Paris and then people with disabilities at the ESAT Atelier at the Château de Rueil-Malmaison.
Returning to their base camp after a short stay in the North, the Blues will train one last time in Rueil-Malmaison on Sunday morning before traveling to Aix-en-Provence by train where they will take up residence before playing their third match group against Namibia, next Thursday, at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille.
“It will be the first match for Samoa who will be fresher than us, but they will also be a little nervous, like us last weekend even if they have experienced players. Playing in the World Cup gives you emotion, I hope that we will control it a little better because during the first match against Japan, it did not help us in terms of fatigue at the end of the match. conceded Pablo Lemoine, the Chile coach before his second match which he approaches with ambition. “Against Japan, I perhaps waited a little too long before making changes, especially on the front line. We have to use the players differently because the first ten minutes of the second half did enormous damage. We will therefore review the strategy.”
The young Wales hooker and captain of the selection, Dewi Lake (24), will make his first appearance in the World Cup against Portugal. The one who did not play against Fiji, due to a knee injury sustained in preparation, will be keen to shine to propel his team to the quarter-finals. Supported by Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Lydiate in particular, the Ospreys player will find his rhythm before taking on the Australians on Sunday September 24, during the Pool C clash.
Despite criticism of the quality of its collective performance, the XV of France won against Uruguay (27-12) on Thursday evening, its 16th victory in a row at home. It is the longest series of successes at home in its history and its second longest unbeaten streak on French territory (16 wins, 1 draw between 2001 and 2004). Another impressive figure, the Blues have never trailed at half-time in their last 32 home games. The last time they chased the score at the break dates back to 2018 against Ireland (3-9), for a 13-15 loss in the end.